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International retail and brand design agency Sheridan&Co reveals its latest work in refining the design, specifications, build and installation for Christian Louboutin Beaute, opened this month in Selfridges&Co’s London department store.

The agency was awarded the project following a competitive 3-way pitch, swayed largely by its 30-year history of conceiving, developing and creating retail spaces and concessions for the luxury beauty industry (Elizabeth Arden and Clarins were the agency’s founding clients).

Working in collaboration with Christian Louboutin’s Merchandising and Store Design team, Sheridan&Co were tasked with refining and evolving the final design to work with Selfridges’ interior space.

The brand, famed for its iconic and chic red-soled stilettos, wanted to transpose the same sense of exuberant luxury within its new cosmetics space. The project included implementing specialist finishes such as paint-sprayed surfaces combined with intricate and ornate brass embellishments with an acid-etched finish.

The concession space relies largely on communicating an architectural feel alongside casual elements including opulent seating and consultation furniture. The incorporation of a discovery, play and workshop area, increasingly common within the beauty retail sector, provides an opportunity for greater customer engagement through interactive edutainment. A Playstation installed at the front of the site provides customers with an introduction to the product range and shades before moving on to a consultation make-up station. Specialist paint finishes, silver flecked lacquer, Mother of Pearl tiles and vibrant red carpet were all produced exclusively for the space.

The metalwork was fashioned from solid brass featuring arches with a fabricated canopy. A hidden wire loom was installed for lighting, which spots and balances ‘true light’ around the make-up mirrors. Drawers were sized to specific products and the space features powered display units with turntables. The merchandising of the make-up products is mixed with Christian Louboutin’s iconic stiletto shoes. Enabling works included refurbishing the floor and a new bulkhead ceiling with ‘daylight’ task illumination.

There was a great focus on the product as an art piece, similar to the iconic shoes, which also feature within the display. To amplify this concept further, the lipsticks are supplied in a black lacquered box, adding an extra level of luxury to the couture cosmetics experience. Sales advisers use white gloves – to provide a sense of theatre, but also on a practical basis to prevent finger print marking.

“The Christian Louboutin brand is the epitome of elegance, eccentricity and luxury, and this is manifest in a exuberantly opulent retail concession that has been painstakingly executed to meet the very high and exacting standards that the luxury market demands,” commented Michael Sheridan, chairman and founder of Sheridan&Co. “Detail is everything. Although we had a final design to work with, it was our job to bring the creative vision to life using materials, embellishments and superior finishes that exude beauty, art and sophistication. Our strong development and engineering capabilities have seen us deliver a retail concession that is both immersive and visually striking.”

Paola Pistello-Jones, Merchandising and Store Design, Christian Louboutin Beaute, commented: “The Selfridges concession truly reflects the values of the brand. It’s an enticing and beautiful environment for product experimentation and indulgence. Sheridan&Co have realised our creative vision and delivered an exceptional looking concession through exceptional project management.”

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